Red Wine with Fish? Yes! Duckhorn Merlot and Swordfish #MerlotMe

Grilled swordfish and earthy fall veggies call for a wine with some body!

Red Wine with Fish? Believe It!
Not every red wine and not every fish.  I would avoid a tannic Cabernet with a delicate poached white fish recipe, but big oceangoing fish are delicious with many red wines. Swordfish is almost always sold as steaks, and it is delicious cooked on the grill.  Add a little grill rub and you have a main dish very happy to pair with red wine and in October, that can only mean Merlot!

Disclosure: The wine for this post was provided as a #MerlotMe sample. No other compensation was involved and all opinions are mine.

Duckhorn Vineyards Estate House and Tasting Room

Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley
Dan and Margaret Duckhorn founded Duckhorn Vineyards as one of the first 40 Napa wineries back in 1976. Merlot fans from day one, they have never given up their passion for the grape. They produce other wines, but Merlot remains front and center in their winery. Cheers to that!

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2017

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2017 (sample, $80 SRP or online here)
Eye: Clear, medium ruby
Nose: Medium+ intensity aromas of violets, elderflower, ripe blueberries, blackberries, figs and a bit of prune. Plus clean earth, forest floor, vanilla and cedar.
Mouth: Dry with medium+ intensity flavors which echo the aromas with flowers, dark blue and black fruit, vanilla and a bit of earth. Medium acidity, medium+ silky tannins, full body with a plush texture, high alcohol and a long finish with lingering fruit.
Observations: Very polished and plush, this wine can be enjoyed on its own or with food. It was delicious with grilled swordfish served with grilled fall vegetables.

In the fall, we bring out those warming red wines, even with fish!

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot with Grilled Swordfish
Our friends Mary and Sean at Vindulge published a fun grilling centered cookbook this year, Fire and Wine. If you’re a fan of the grill, you should have it in your home library. I used the Savory Rub on our swordfish. They have lots of recipes on their website, so you can try some out and if you like them, pick up their cookbook! I picked up some fresh local fall vegetables at our farmers market and roasted them in a cast iron skillet prior to cooking the salmon. We enjoyed sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, onions, parsnips and purple cauliflower. Seared swordfish and all those earthy fall veggies were perfect with the Duckhorn Merlot. Rich fruit flavors with lively acidity and silky tannins were just the ticket.

A Visit to Duckhorn Vineyards
With the double concerns of the 2020 fires out in Napa Valley and Covid-19, you might not be ready to travel right now. When travel does become possible again, don’t forget that most wineries survived and fires and are anxious to welcome guests again. They are taking all precautions for a safe and secure visit.  I was out in Napa recently to take a couple tests for my WSET Diploma program, so I stayed an extra day to squeeze in one visit. I had a wonderful visit at Duckhorn and can highly recommend you visit the next time you are in the area!


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